Home-based staff qualification changes
Learn about the transition of home-based early learning services to a qualified workforce, which will occur between 2020-2025.
|Level of compliance||Main audience||Other|
Home-based early learning services must comply with the transition to a qualified workforce.
- Upcoming regulatory changes for home-based education and care services
- What's changing?
- How does the count of educators work?
- What does this mean for quality-funded services?
- How does it work if we are applying for a new licence?
- What qualifications are needed?
- Evidence of educators’ qualifications
- Funding rates
- Visiting teacher support payment
- Further information
There are some changes coming on 1 June 2022 for home-based education and care services as a result of the Education (Early Childhood Services) Amendment Act (No 2) 2021(external link).
These changes are the next stage of the 5 year transition to a qualified home-based workforce. You can find out more about this on the Education Conversation website.
The following quick guides give a helpful review of the changes.
For standard-funded services, these regulations mean that from 1 June, 10% of educators on a licence must hold a home-based service qualification. (When we talk about the ‘percentage qualification requirement’, this is what we’re referring to.) See ‘What qualifications are needed’ for details about home-based service qualifications.
To support the assessment of the percentage qualification requirement, there is also a new obligation on all licensed home-based services. They must keep a record of their educators and evidence of their qualifications. We expect most services will be doing this anyway.
The count of educators for the percentage qualification requirement, is a headcount of those working in your service. In order to be counted, an educator must have provided education and care for children enrolled in the service for at least four days in a calendar month.
Each month, educators can only count towards the percentage qualification requirement in one licence of a service provider. For example, if you’re moving an educator from a standard-funded licence to a quality-funded licence you are unable to count the educator on both licences in the same month.
Note that this restriction only relates to this particular requirement. You can still claim funding subsidies on both licences for the children attending with those educators, subject to the usual funding rules. If an educator changes service providers in a month they can be counted in both licences.
When working out the number of educators you need to meet the required percentage, if it works out to be a fraction, use normal rounding rules. That means, if the number is 0.5 or above, you round up to the nearest whole number. If the number is below 0.5, round down.
Use the spreadsheet below as a guide to work out how many of your educators need to be qualified.
Quality-funded home-based services will need to meet these regulatory requirements as well. However the key difference is that to be eligible for quality funding, a service must have a higher percentage of qualified educators. From 1 June 2022 the percentage qualification requirement for quality funded services is 50%.
If you’re already on a quality-funded licence, you’ll notice that the count method in the regulations is different to that currently set out in the ECE Funding Handbook. The count method for quality funded licences will be changing from weekly to monthly, to match the new regulations, from 1 June 2022. This includes changes to the rounding rules.
In standard funded licences, we’re only concerned with the minimum number of qualified educators. Until 2024, quality funded licences have both a minimum required percentage of qualified educators, and a maximum allowed percentage of unqualified. All remaining educators must be partially qualified, with at least 5 credits towards an ECE qualification at Level 4 or above. More detail can be found in ‘Funding Rates’.
Quality funded licences were given this category of ‘partially qualified’ educators to allow those working on these licences before 2021, when 5 credits at Level 4 was the minimum requirement, time to complete a full qualification. That doesn’t mean that educators need to have been working before 2021 to be included as partially qualified.
The picture below shows how the requirements from 1 June 2022 work for a quality-funded licence of 10 educators. Qualified educators are represented by blue figures. Unqualified are shown in green, and partially qualified in orange.
The service must have at least five (5) blue figures (50%), but also no more than two (2) green figures (20%) to be eligible for quality funding.
If you have any further questions about how this requirement works, you can contact us at ECE.Funding@education.govt.nz.
The regulations set out a slightly different count method for probationary licence applications, recognising that no one will be providing education and care at this point. You will need to submit a list of educators intending to work on the licence and their qualifications. The calculations will be done on a straight headcount basis.
The required qualifications are:
- A Level 4 or higher ECE qualification listed on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework or recognised by the Teaching Council of Aotearoa New Zealand for registration purposes
- A Level 3 ECE qualification completed before 1 June 2022
- A primary teaching qualification
- Te Ara Tuarua (the level 5 Kōhanga Reo qualification) or higher (Tohu Whakapakari)
International qualifications that have been assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) as comparable to relevant New Zealand ECE qualifications or primary teaching qualifications will also be accepted.
If your qualification is listed on the NZQF but identified as ‘Discontinued’ or ‘Expired’, it is still an accepted qualification. Some older versions of qualifications have slightly different names, but the qualification numbers remain the same. These versions will also be accepted. The list below may be helpful.
If you are unsure about whether your qualification meets the new requirements, please contact email@example.com.
Certified copies of qualifications are required to be kept by the service provider and provided on request by the Ministry.
Transcripts showing completed credits must be kept if educators on quality-funded licences are being counted as having ‘5 or more credits towards a required qualification’ during the transition period.
For educators completing their studies, a record of enrolment in a required qualification must be kept by the service provider. This must clearly show the date the programme commenced.
At the end of the five-year transition, there will be only one funding rate available – the quality funding rate.
Until 1 January 2025, the rate at which you are funded will depend in part, on the percentage of your home-based educators with qualifications by the due dates in the tables below. You must also meet the specific coordinator requirements set out in the Funding Handbook.
Services must apply to move to a quality funded licence by sending a completed EC11B Form and the required documentation to their local Te Mahau Office.
|Quality funding rate|
|Date requirement is effective||
Minimum percentage of your educators with a required qualification
Maximum percentage of your educators able to be in training or induction*
Educators with at least 5 credits towards a required qualification at Level 4 or above
|From 1 January 2021||30%||20%||
All remaining educators on the licence
|From 1 June 2022||50%||20%||
All remaining educators on the licence
|From January 2023||70%||20%||
All remaining educators on the licence
|From January 2024||80%||20%||This category no longer applies|
* Educators who do not yet have credits towards a required qualification.
Educators who join a quality funded licence without a completed qualification can only remain in induction for a maximum of 6 months, or enrolled in training up to a maximum of 2 years.
|Standard funding rate|
|Date||Minimum % of your educators with a required qualification|
|Until 1 June 2022||No qualification requirements|
|1 June 2022||10%|
|1 January 2023||30%|
|1 January 2024||60%|
There is funding available through Budget 2020 for home-based services on the standard funding rate as they transition to a qualified workforce. If your service has at least one educator studying toward a Level 4 ECE or Te Ara Tuarua qualification, you are eligible for up to $5092 (inc. GST) annually. This payment is split over the three funding periods per year and is to help visiting teachers provide extra support to these educators in training. The payment is a per-service payment, not per educator.
The payment will be processed at the same time as operational funding payments. In order to receive the payment, you must attest that you have had an educator studying during the last funding period. You must also keep records of educators that are studying (for example, evidence of enrolment in study towards a level 4 qualification or Te Ara Tuarua). You will be required to supply these documents to our audit or licensing teams if requested, and the payment may be recovered if no evidence is available.
The payment has been provided to help visiting teachers offer some extra support to educators in training. This might be through additional contact hours, specific coursework discussion times with individuals, or study groups with multiple educators. There is no requirement to complete records of how the payment has been spent.
Find out if you are eligible in the flowchart below. You could apply from 1 October 2020, and the first payment was on 1 November 2020. You can be paid in arrears to cover the period from July–September 2020 onwards.
*Funding periods are June–September, October–January, and February–May.
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